Capital Flight: Measurement and Drivers

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Ndikumana, Léonce
. Boyce, James K
Ndiaye, Ameth Saloum
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This paper describes the nature of capital flight, the methodologies used to measure it, and its drivers. The paper presents updated estimates of the magnitude of capital flight from 39 African countries for which adequate data are available for the period 1970-2010. It gives a global context of the problem of capital flight from Africa by providing comparative indicators on capital flight and related flows for other developing regions. The paper undertakes a detailed econometric analysis of the drivers of capital flight from African countries. It explores empirically the role of domestic and external factors in driving capital flight, including structural factors, the macroeconomic environment, governance, risk and returns to investment, capital account openness, and financial development. The first objective of the study is to contribute to the literature by providing the most comprehensive analysis of capital flight from Africa that takes into account economic as well as non-economic dimensions and recognizes the importance of both the domestic and global contexts. The second objective is to contribute to the policy debate on capital flight both in Africa and globally.
Capital flight; Africa , sub-Saharan Africa , balance of payments , capital account openness